Religions and Spirituality

Juneteenth in Morristown

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MORRISTOWN, NJ - Community and faith groups across Morristown are pleased to announce the town’s 6th annual Juneteenth celebration. This year, the Church of the Redeemer is joined by Bethel Church of Morristown, who has expanded the celebration into a town-wide event to commemorate its 175th Anniversary. Other participants include the Morristown United Methodist Church, the Presbyterian Church in Morristown, Historic Speedwell, and the Second NJ Brigade.

Juneteenth is a traditional holiday marking the end of slavery and will be commemorated on Saturday, June 9th from 10 am to 9 pm in and around the Morristown Green. Juneteenth, traditionally observed on June 19th, commemorates the emancipation of all enslaved African Americans at the end of the Civil War when President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation became the law in all states.

Events will be held at Historic Speedwell (333 Speedwell Ave., Morristown, www.speedwell.org) from 10 am – 5 pm and include a Civil War encampment, musket drills, a Civil War battle reenactment, exhibits, story time, and a quilting demonstration. Admission to Historic Speedwell is $7 for adults, $6 for seniors, and $5 for children.

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From 1 – 3 pm on the Morristown Green (10 N. Park Place, Morristown), activities will also take place for the public. Kim and Reggie Harris will perform stories and songs of freedom at 2:00pm. Other activities on The Green include Frederick Douglass reenactor Fred Morsell, President and Mrs. Lincoln and Reverend Alexander Newton reenactors, Colored Troop interpreters, and Emancipation Day art activities. These events are free of charge.

“Journey to the Beloved Community: Community Conversation on Race,” will be held at the Morristown United Methodist Church (50 S. Park Place, Morristown, http://morristownumc.org) from 3:30 – 5 pm. All are welcome to participate in discussions. Free childcare will be provided to participants. Teachers are eligible for Professional Development Credits. Admission is free.

The celebration continues at the Church of the Redeemer (36 South St., Morristown, http://www.redeemermorristown.org) from 5 - 9 pm, and includes music, family activities, food, and an outdoor movie. Admission is free.

Free parking and shuttles available.

Consummate musicians and storytellers, Kim & Reggie Harris are a mini festival of diversity.  Combining traditional African-American spirituals and freedom songs with original folk, they sing of life, love, the quest for freedom, and care for the environment.  Kim & Reggie have earned wide acclaim for their contributions to the resources and knowledge base on the Underground Railroad and the modern civil rights movement. Creative curiosity, 30+ years of road and stage experience, and interactions with performers such as Pete Seeger, Ysaye Barnwell, Jay Leno, Tom Paxon, Bernice Johnson Reagon, Harry Belafonte and others has led them to produce music that entertains and inspires. Learn more at http://www.kimandreggie.com/

Frederick Douglass reenactor Fred Morsell’s professional acting career spans more than thirty-eight years, and includes seasons with The Actors' Theatre of Louisville, The Repertory Theatre of Lincoln Center, The New York Shakespeare Festival, the McCarter Theatre of Princeton, and other regional theatres throughout America, where, among other roles, he has starred as Macbeth and Othello. He has appeared both on and off Broadway in numerous plays and musicals, and has an extensive background in film and television. Acclaimed across the United States for his portrayal of Frederick Douglass, Mr. Morsell performed at many of the nation's Frederick Douglass centennial celebrations. Mr. Morsell has been an actor, director and teacher with the Terry Schreiber Studio in New York City since 1970. He is a graduate of Dickinson College and holds a Masters Degree in Theatre Arts from Wayne State University. Learn more at http://www.frederickdouglass.org/morsell_bio.html

Support for this program was generously provided by: the New Jersey Council for the Humanities, a state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations in this program do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities. The Amistad Bill (A1301), which became law in 2002, requires New Jersey schools to infuse African-American history into their entire social studies curriculum. This legislation also created the Amistad Commission, a 23-member body charged with equipping New Jersey teachers to effectively teach the revised social studies core curriculum through workshops, seminars, and institutes. http://www.state.nj.us/education/amistad/.

All sites are physically accessible for people with mobility impairments. Materials will be available in large print for activities on the Morristown Green. 

 

 

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